The provost of Trinity College says the Black Lives Matter movement has prompted the university to 'face up' to its own colonial past.
Dr Patrick Prendergast says he likes to think the Dublin university would have examined the issue one way or the other, but last year's social movements have 'accelerated' the process.
Trinity has announced a two-year investigation to "examine, interrogate and reflect on its complex colonial legacies", including its past connections to the slave trade and its "historical and intellectual connections to empire".
It will look at issues such as how the Trinity library is named after George Berkeley, a prominent philosopher who was also a slave-owner.
On Newstalk Breakfast, Dr Prendergast said the college would be open to renaming the library if needed, but they don't know whether it will come to that.
He said: “We’ll only know how to answer the question when we do a proper study of it and know all the facts, and indeed how to interpret those facts in terms of what motivates people currently.
"What we’re looking at here is Trinity’s history. It reflects the history of the whole country in a way: Irish people were involved in colonialism, and of course Ireland was a colonised country.
“We want to have a close look at this, and see the impact Trinity has had - good and bad - in its history and reflect on it. It’s got to do with properly understanding, reflecting and learning on its history."
Dr Prendergast said the Black Lives Matter protests last year led to many students questioning how Trinity itself behaved since its foundation in 1592.
He said: “Certainly the Black Lives Matter movement and the things that happened last year accelerated everyone’s thoughts about this - about colonialism, the consequences of slavery and so on that we’re still living with in society today.
“Yes, it made us think about it more, and determine that we would better understand it.
“It’s not just about looking at the history - it’s about looking at how we’re acting now as well, particularly issues like naming of buildings, scholarships and so on.”
He said it's not so much getting on side with current social trends, but instead about 'facing up' to issues that happened in the past that are still relevant to modern society.